Philip Seymour Hoffman, my favorite character actor and an Academy Award winner for his 2005 portrayal of the American author Truman Capote in the biopic “Capote”, was just found dead of an apparent drug overdose (killer batch of White Heroin) in his New York City apartment yesterday. He was only 46.His death has been making the headlines and journalists have sprung to life drawing inspiration from his drug addiction and the fact that he had been battling it for over 20 years. He declared in his CBS “60 Minutes” interview in 2006 when asked which drugs he used: “Anything I could get my hands on. I liked it all.” He told the British newspaper the Guardian in 2011: “I had no interest in drinking in moderation. And I still don’t. Just because all that time’s passed doesn’t mean maybe it was just a phase. That’s, you know, who I am.”
He was absolutely the most versatile actor I knew who starred in such films as “The Master,” “The Hunger Games: Catching fire,” “Charlie Wilson’s War” and “Boogie Nights,” and of course his 2012 broadway hit “Death of a Salesman” in which he played Willie Loman perhaps the biggest loser of all in American Literature. Public figures ranging from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to Chelsea Clinton to author Judy Blume took to Twitter on Sunday to register their shock and grief.
Perhaps my favorite scene with Philip Hoffman was one in which he played a over-serious medical student in the movie “Patch Adams”. He almost stole the show from the comical and zany Robin Williams. I’d like to share it with my readers: